Fortunately, there are significant opportunities for the development of a regional trail and greenway system in the Chartiers Valley.  At the confluence of the Ohio River and Chartiers Creek will be an important hub that connects the Chartiers Trail with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.  The CIty of Pittsburgh is currently undertaking a master plan study for a riverfront park along the Ohio River in this area. A connection between these two corridors would provide a large urban population with a direct pedestrian / bicycle route to the city of Pittsburgh, and connect with 37 additional miles of waterfront trail..

Approximately 6 miles upstream on Chartiers Creek from the Ohio River confluence is a possible connection with the Panhandle Trail.  The Panhandle, when completed, will extend 29 miles from Walkers Mill in Collier Township to Weirton, West Virginia.  The Panhandle Trail is actively being developed and was recently awarded funding from the TEA 21 for construction of Phase III that encompasses 17.3 miles of trail through 9 municipalities.  Approximately 6.6 miles now have improved surface between Walker's Mill Road in Collier Township and Laurel Hill Road in McDonald Borough.

At a point commencing approximately 7 miles downstream on the Ohio River, and progressing south, is the well-used Montour Trail.  This rail-trail, when completed, will be a part of a complex of trails that stretch from Coraopolis, PA to Washington, D.C.  The trail covers 54 miles of abandoned railroad right-of-way from the Montour Railroad in Allegheny and Washington Counties.  Of the 54 miles of trail, approximately 23 miles are located within the lower Chartiers Creek watershed.  A connection can be made at the Montour Trail's northern terminus along the Ohio River, or at the southern terminus of the Chartiers Trail near the Greer Tunnel.  

The Chartiers Trail will potentially make numerous intermodal connections with major transportation facilities such as the Port Authority's Southern Busway and the proposed Maglev project.  An emerging water trail also adds to the uniqueness of the Chartiers Creek Trail and Greenway system.

abandoned railroad bed along Scully Yards in Windgap area would make a great trail

The greatest potential for a contiguous trail system throughout the Chartiers Creek valley is the existing Pittsburgh and Ohio Central (P&OC) railroad corridor.  This rail line is operated as a short line freight system by the Ohio Central Railroad System.  Under this ownership, it is not likely that any portion of the P&OC will be used for the Chartiers Trail. 

The P & OC did make a generous conservation easement offer to the Chartiers Nature Conservancy, facilitated by officials from the City of Pittsburgh, based on talks with previous conservancy board members.  However the railroad could not come to terms with the current conservancy board, unfortunately resulting in loss of these important miles of great trail.  

An interim plan has been specified, however, that will offer connections to existing trails and provide neighborhoods with recreational opportunities.

Contained within this study are also recommendations for a greenway system that is formed around the spine of Chartiers Creek and the proposed trail.  Due to the steep valley slopes, much of the land adjacent to Chartiers Creek has remained relatively undistrubed.  Although not suitable for some active recreational uses, this land is valuaable in its provision of ecological and passive recerational funcition.  A portion of this land has been acquired by local conservation organizations, and these parcels will form the basis of future land acquistion and conservation activities.